Huge community boost from Commissioner crime fund with more than £500,000 awarded this year so far (23 Oct 2014)

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More than half a million pounds, £567,000, has now been awarded to charities, voluntary groups and other organisations across West Yorkshire under the Police and Crime Commissioner's Safer Communities Fund.
 
Money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) is fed into this single community pot exclusively for local community safety initiatives.
 
At an event at Thornhill Academy in Dewsbury last night (WED) 35 successful groups and projects were awarded the thousands of pounds to support various initiatives.
 
During the third round of the Fund, 165 applications totalling £885,892 were received by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said:
 
"I am continually impressed by the amount of worthy causes and organisations applying for money from the Safer Communities Fund to help our communities feel safer.

"This money will allow them to help provide an invaluable service to our local communities as funding cuts continue to impact on charities and voluntary groups across West Yorkshire.
 

"This is the third round of my Safer Communities Fund awards with a specific equality and diversity theme this time and a further total of £155,000 has now gone to these projects across West Yorkshire. The sheer volume of applicants demonstrates just how crucial this fund is and I am pleased to be able to support such good causes to ensure our communities are safer and feel safer, but ideally I would like more POCA money to fund more groups in 2014/2015 in order to meet the clear demand out there.

"Each of the groups that were successful in their applications received 70 percent of the money applied for. Every approved application was also looked at by an Independent Advisory Board made up of community safety representatives and those from the voluntary sector across the county, whilst meeting a clear criteria to deliver against my Police and Crime Plan priorities.

"Applications were received from a wide variety of groups in all parts of West Yorkshire and this significant level of demand really highlights the need to retain all Proceeds of Crime in the county.
 
"The fourth grant round for the Safer Communities Fund will open on 3 November with more details on our website, so I would encourage local organisations and groups to submit applications of up to £7,500 to make sure their communities will be safer and feel safer as a result of these monies."

West Yorkshire Police Temporary Deputy Chief Constable John Robins said: "We are successfully continuing to crackdown on criminals to ensure they do not benefit from the proceeds of their crimes.

"It is pleasing that cash seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act is being put back into local communities which may have been affected by crime.

"Members of the public are our eyes and ears -  we rely on them to supply information which enables us to identify and apprehend criminals.

"Anyone who suspects individuals are benefiting from ill-gotten gains can contact police in confidence and anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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